The Tile Association is undertaking a programme of independent testing of tiling products to ensure compliance to statutory requirements.

Lack of compliance can lead to product failure and damage to the quality reputation of the tiling industry as a whole. TTA Board feels it is essential for the Association to carry out random audits of tiling products on sale, in order to help drive quality through the supply chain.

The TTA has commissioned an independent UKAS-accredited test house to carry out the programme of product testing on its behalf.

The move follows concerns expressed by TTA members that there are products being offered for sale which do not comply to the relevant British and European Standards, despite claims of compliance being expressed on their own packaging and marketing material.

The area in which product non-compliance has been alleged is the tile adhesives sector. This is therefore the first product group in which independent testing is being implemented.

The first batch of products from four adhesive manufacturers, which included a mix of TTA members and non-members, has been tested against the relevant performance requirements stated in Standard BS EN 12004. One of the four manufacturers’ products failed to comply.

“The next stage for us is to try and work with the manufacturer to ensure compliance,” says Brian Newell, “and in the case of the non-conforming product which has been identified, we have already contacted the supplier concerned for their comments. Our intention is simply to ensure that manufacturers are selling products into the market place which conform to the relevant Standards, and we hope to be able to achieve this by a process of dialogue with the supplier.

“There are of course further sanctions which can be sought, if necessary, via Trading Standards Departments and the Advertising Standards Authority. We would hope not to have to use these routes, but we feel this is sufficiently important that we will do so if necessary.”

“The TTA understands the importance of product conformity,” explains Brian Newell, chairman of the TTA Technical Committee. “Standards exist to ensure the customer knows what they are buying and ultimately they protect all of us who supply products into the tiling sector. When the TTA became aware that suppliers’ own testing of competitors’ products was identifying areas of non-conformity, it was clear that we had to investigate this issue on an independent and impartial basis, since we are the Association that represents the entire industry. If there are liability issues arising from non-conformity, this reflects not just on the company concerned, but on the industry as a whole, including the retailer or distributor of the product concerned, so the TTA is taking this issue seriously.”

Although the tile adhesives sector is the first one in which non-conformity is being investigated, the TTA stresses that it is willing to organise independent testing in any product sector related to tiling, in which concerns about product conformity are being raised by its members. The Association therefore urges all suppliers to check the relevant British and European Standards for the products they supply and ensure compliance to statutory requirements as a matter of urgency.

Any TTA member companies who require further information about Standards are encouraged to contact the TTA on 0300 365 8453 or by email:



  1. Whilst I applaud the investigation and welcome anything which drives up industry standards, please explain exactly why you would fail to publish the details of the non-conforming product/s?
    There are likely many tilers – some of whom will be your members – who quite rightly will be concerned by the possibility of having specified and used non-conforming product/s.
    Surely you have a duty of care to publish this information for two main reasons?
    1) To help tilers to avoid specifying and using non-conforming products, and
    2) To give weight to the use of EN 12004 and teeth to The Tile Association who to quote you in the article: “….are the Association that represents the entire industry.”

  2. Hi

    Can you specify if this ‘non-conforming’ adhesive has failed to adhere correctly or if it is just a chemical difference in the makeup of said product?
    That would help clear up any desire for me to understand if the products, I have been using, are, in fact defected.

  3. Hi
    Would only be fair and only right to name the manufacturer and product so as an end user I and others can avoid purchasing the “non compliance product” and remove any risk of failure to future installations.
    Please advise
    G Wade.

    1. TTA is carrying out these tests to monitor product conformity in the marketplace and to protect those who might unwittingly purchase and use non-conforming products.

      This first round of tests involved adhesives which the manufacturers claimed to meet the S1 deformability classification as defined in BS EN 12004. Products from both TTA member companies and non-member companies were tested. One of the tested products unfortunately failed the requirements for S1 classification to be claimed.

      The manufacturer’s comments have been invited and the material will be re-tested as necessary. Should the material fail once again or should no satisfactory response be received, the outcome will be publicised and passed on to Trading Standards for their interpretation of the business practices employed.

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